Archive for November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week we at preschool were talking turkey and Thanksgiving.  They are both concepts that two-year-olds can’t really conceive of.  What’s special about having dinner with some family?  We’re going to eat a bird?  Gobble Gobble.  What does it mean to be thankful?  What are you thankful for?  Candy!  Despite that, I persevered.  We made, looked at, and read about turkeys.  We had fun, but did I make any headway?  Not really.

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Apple Turkey
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Sponge Painting Turkey

Well, even if Clara and her buddies don’t get it, I do. I’m grateful for more than candy. I have a wonderful family, want for nothing, and the freedom to do just about anything I please. I don’t think it gets much better than that. And I am very thankful for that.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

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Clara and I, after an afternoon with no nap, needed an activity.  So, we made pumpkin bread.  With chocolate.  I’m not sure there are many things better.  But then we added sprinkles to the top.  Yummy!!  An hour later, we were both feeling much better.  We made one loaf of bread and a dozen muffins from this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Also good with raisins for the kiddos instead of chocolate chips.  Can be made into mini loaves and/or mini muffins or regular muffins, too.  Just adjust the baking time.
Ingredients
1 1/2  cups  sugar
2  cups  canned pumpkin
1/2  cup  canola oil
1/2  cup  fat-free vanilla yogurt
4  large egg whites
2  cups  all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
1 1/4  teaspoons  salt
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  We actually made this in the standing mixer because its a lot easier to add ingredients and juggle a toddler if you aren’t hand mixing.  Or you can help the toddler eat pumpkin out of the can.

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Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

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Winter Weather Clothes

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In preschool we’ve been doing a little unit on weather.  This week when I hosted our topic was winter weather clothes.  I may have had a small ulterior motive in picking this topic… getting Clara to wear socks, shoes, and coat when we go outside.  Or at least understand why she ought to.  We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, we did some dressing up in various coats, hat, scarves, and mittens which was a huge hit.  Then we made paper dolls who wanted to go outside and play in the cold.  I cut up an L.L. Bean catalog and ended up with plenty of paper coats, hats, boots, snowshoes, and pants.  I then pre-cut some paper dolls out of cardstock and busted out the glue sticks.  Clara likes to lick her glue stick (she’s going to be the one eating paste in elementary school for sure), but everyone else seems understand not to.  They all glued their clothes on the naked people, added some marker just for fun, then we stuck on some little googly eyes.  The eyes really made the project.  They turned out pretty cute.

We also read a couple of getting dressed for cold weather books which all the kids enjoyed.  The first, which Clara has been obsessed with lately is Thumpity Thump Gets Dressed by Cyndy Szekeres, which is the story of a little bunny that wants to go outside and play, but he has to keep changing his clothes as the weather gets worse and worse.

The other book that was a hit was Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin.  This is the story of a little girl who comes in from outside and has to take all of her layers off to have hot chocolate and cookies, then has to get all dressed back up.  I’m not sure that any of the kiddos have really expeirienced that, but maybe if it decides to be a snowy winter here.  We’ll see.

Basement Makeover

It rains here in the winter… a lot.  Toddler + rain = boredom and screaming fits.  So, today we spent much of the day recreating our basement into a playroom complete with slide and push car.  Clara has enjoyed it immensely, and it hasn’t even rained yet.  We’ll see how long it takes before the newness wears off.  Hopefully it will be months….

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